Congress of preaching with the theme “The Word: From the Desert to the City”.
The main speaker, Fr. Michael Monshau O.P., a Dominican from the Province of St. Albert the Great, has a doctorate in Homiletics. Fr. Michael Monshau, O.P. teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome (Angelicum) and also conducts courses at the Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California. He is also author and editor of several books, including The Grace and Task of Preaching (Dominican Publications, Dublin 2006).
In his speech, Fr. Michael Monshau, O.P. emphasized that the proclamation of the Word is not limited only to the priest but he quoted the encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi which specifies that broadcasting the Gospel is the obligation of all those who are baptized. He explained that through the Word and Work, we are worshipping God. Through the Word and Work entrusted to us by Jesus Christ – the proclamation of the Word – we’re making His presence felt in the world around us. Every baptized person is called to give evidence and bring the message of peace, unity and love found in the Gospel to a world plagued by divisiveness.
Fr. Michael Monshau, O.P. gave another talk in which he emphasized the fact that the evangelizer needs to be aware of the needs of his audience. He gave four main reasons why people go to church:
- to commemorate – the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus;
- to celebrate – the place to join the community and where there is a sense of communion;
- to contemplate – for these, the Word and understanding of the Word is of the utmost importance
- to anticipate – those expecting eternal life
Fr. Michael Monshau, O.P. stressed the fact that for preaching to be effective, the person who is evangelizing needs to keep in mind these four groups of people thus reaching out to as many people as possible. Fr. Michael Monshau, O.P. stressed the importance of parents as the first evangelizers.
There was valuable feedback from the public that was present. They mentioned the need for the work of religious organizations and individual communities to be woven together to deliver the message of Christ.